Thinning Overpopulation of Wolves
Makes Logical Biological Sense

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / December 25, 2003

Mr. Bob Orabona's thesis, "Natural balance between predator, prey needs restoration in Alaska" (Dec. 21), is too starry-eyed to be useful. All he offers is to decry modern technology and pine over things he thinks must have been much better thousands of years ago.

Look, nobody wants to kill all our wolves, or even a significant number of them. In view of what we are told about predator/prey numbers, culling some, like thinning overpopulations of deer or moose, makes biological sense. As far as I know, this is a responsible part of human effort as stewards of animal populations all over the world.

We expect game management, like other government services, to function as efficiently as possible. Playing at accommodating vocal minorities like Mr. Orabona's Friends of Animals, by capturing and sterilizing male wolves or tranquilizing and hauling bewildered bears hundreds of miles from their home range, leaves a lot to be desired. Our harried state game managers, using the tools they have been limited to, have not been able to stem game population declines in many areas of Alaska -- and not just around McGrath. Aerial shooting of wolves is a tool. It is expedient. It has nothing to do with ethics, sportsmanship or fair chase.

It is not my sense that Mr. Orabona's position is right, or even reasonable.

-- Dennis Lattery / Eagle River

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